Friday, February 18, 2011

Today at 1:00am

Sounds way too familiar to far too many people. Thanks to this veteran's wife for sharing her story!

Right now my husband is sleeping on the living room floor, because our bed hurts his back. An IED got him the first time in Iraq, and the second time (2004) a grenade to his back. I am the wife of a surviving veteran that has been crying out for help for 6 years. We have been in and out of Washington State VA hospitals without any help, and all this neglect has made my husband's PTSD shoot up so bad that I'm now walking on eggshells. He is not the man he used to be.

Today he has vomited, his sciatica pain is beyond words, stomach hurts, and body chills. You would think to just take him into the hospital to be seen,but that is exactly the reason why he is going through all the pain here at home. For 6 years we would go in and out of the VA hospitals E.R, urgent care, with only pain pills in our pocket. The same pain pills that make him throw up. They would say "you need to call your doctor and set up an appointment". We would do that with a month out wait time,( leaving messages on machines ) and doctors even loosing paperwork in the past.

Before he got out the Army they did an MRI, but not once in six years did the VA look at them, nor take new ones. He has never been tested for brain injuries either. It is very hard to help his PTSD when he is in chronic pain! Last 2 years have been the worst on our marriage and family. His anger scares me sometimes, and I really don't know how " real" his words are.

We told the VA verbally and in person to the psych doctor that he is suicidal, and they did not call us back, or do a followup. After he attempted to end his life (while on a road trip) I called the National Hotline for the Veterans and they told me " sorry we can't help someone who does not want to get help".

Since then we are now living in California and in the few weeks we have lived here the VA hospital has been WONDERFUL! He has a MRI scheduled, x-rays done ,and a case manger calling us to see how he is doing. It is a true miracle ! The problem though that leads me to 1 am and a stubborn hurt man is, after 6 years of being ignored by those who are supposed to help, he does not want to go to E.R tonight. He assumes he will have to wait 10 hours to be given pain pills and sent home. Mentally it is to late for him - he is so depressed. Physically he can't move, can't do daily activities, and support our family . I have high hopes that the California VA system will help him, and help with his PTSD. I just wish that 6 years ago he could of got this kind of support. In the next couple days he has another appointment, so I am hoping that this truly is a new start.

2 comments:

  1. Today: 3am

    Wow ... I am so sorry and it is crazy how this all sounds very familiar except for me it has been two years. Dating for two years, living together for one year. I saw the effects of war probably on our 2nd week of dating so I am not surprised by his character.

    My vet was hit by an IED in March of 2007. Every time that day comes, it feels like we are in a wake or in mourning even though no one died that day. He can barely get out of bed from his back pain. Then the pills come into effect with all the stomach pain. I encourage him to eat so that the pills won't be to bad on his stomach.

    I don't know if it is PTSD or the yearn of adrenaline rushes. I rode with him and he was riding so aggressively I ended up falling from it.. Not learning from that he continued to drive crazy (without me in the back). He got into an ATV accident which prevented him from walking for a year now. We had all sorts of people calling us about medical bills. He had to drop his classes and now the VA is charging us for his classes. Working on the debt to be reduced.

    Then he got into an argument with this road rage man and my fiance ended up taking out his conceal carry and as he put it away ... the road rager punched him. We thought he was going to get charged with something but thankfully NO.

    Tonight I am sitting in bed not being able to calm down or sleep because he got really mad tonight. He hurt the dog and disintegrated a door. He says he will NEVER hurt me and I truly hope it never happens. He has been listening to Pink Floyd at full blast. Repeating all of his favorite songs. I feel helpless, tired and alone. The dog helps me ( I ENCOURAGE EVERYONE TO GET ONE.. specially a therapy dog).

    I am sorry if this comment digressed. I guess everyone has their tragedy and their obstacles. I just try to move on and live day by day. Going to school, working and taking care of my vet is hard but doable.

    I think women like us are truly the only ones that help our vets when they come back from the war. I am now officially my fiances secretary. If people want to get a hold of him... they call me. It is crazy. I give props to all of us. The government can't do it and we single handedly do it day to day. How strong is that?! Very impressed by all of us. VERY PROUD. Don't give up though... If we give up, then America might as well have given up on our soldiers. They need us.

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  2. Pink Floyd is driving me crazy. Everytime I hear it, I know it is a bad day. I hear Pink Floyd way too often. It is haunting me and right now my fiance has it really loud and was downing bears. He is hunched in our office chair and won't move. I thought he was taking pills but he wasn't. Took away his beers and he insists he still wants to hear a Pink Floyd song. It is keeping me awake and driving me crazy tonight.

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